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According to the World Bank and IMF, India is the world’s ninth largest economy by GDP and one of the fastest growing. At the same time, India is slipping down the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Rankings, with the gap widening with China.
Despite its recent economic success and increasing population, companies are scrambling to find, and keep, skilled Indian workers. This is because, with employers in many sectors already reporting skills gaps, India needs to move more of its working population to a higher skills base.
India’s largest IT firm (TCS) has complained that only one in 15 Indian graduates are employable. With 138 million young people expected to hit the Indian job market by 2020, India could be facing a [skills] race against time. In response, the Indian government has set a target of creating 500 million skilled workers by 2020 and set out a vision for reform of the education and skills system to meet future demand and the needs of industry.
With the current focus seemingly on numbers, this session explores the reality behind the rhetoric and debate a number of issues including:
- What skills will the 500 million workers need?
- What is being done to ensure that the future workforce has the right skills?
- How has the Indian economy been seen as a success story when there is a perception that the workforce does not have the skills needed for the 21st century?
- What potential impact will the increased number of skilled workers in India have on other economies?
- How is the voice of employers in the informal sector being heard?